CINCINNATI — Construction continues on Nestlé Purina PetCare’s newest manufacturing facility in Clermont County, Ohio. The company expects the new dry pet food plant to be fully operational within 12 months, according to a recent update from Purina.

The new 1.3 million-square-foot property in Williamsburg Township will produce Purina’s Pro Plan, ONE and Dog Chow brands of dry dog and cat food. This is the first facility Purina has constructed from the ground up since 1975. At the time of the project announcement in October 2020, the company projected the new plant would be a $550 million investment.

Building a greenfield plant provides Purina with the opportunity to equip the facility with innovation and to make production and logistics as streamlined and efficient as possible, according to the company.

Included in the innovation at the plant is its on-site automated warehousing system. Conveyers have been installed inside the more than 10-story structure, with more equipment installation, fitting and testing still to come. In addition, digital and automated technologies will be incorporated into the production process to protect the products produced and the employees working at the plant.

Another highlight of the new plant will be its Manufacturing Experience Center. The center will be used to help educate visitors on Purina’s manufacturing process. “The space will be used to help demystify manufacturing and showcase the various skilled trades and digital-focused practices embraced in today’s processes,” the company said.

So far during the construction process, the exterior of the facility has utilized:

  • 23,000 yards (or 2,875 truckloads of concrete)
  • Nearly 82,000 total feet of pipe (equaling 15 total miles)
  • 351,000 tons of stone (equal to 14,000 semi-truckloads)
  • 3,600 geo piers installed
  • 13,800 tons of structural steel

Hiring is underway for the new site, with 50 associates currently employed and plans for around 50 more positions to be filled by the end of March. By the end of 2024, the company expects to employ more than 300 people at the plant.

A series of safety training meetings between company personnel and emergency services revealed elements of the factory’s operations would require enhancements to the township’s emergency response department’s equipment. New emergency equipment includes high angle rope rescue life safety equipment, thermal imaging cameras, multi-gas detectors, extrication devices, push/pull rams, and telescopic ram devices. Representatives from the local fire department will participate in training programs to learn about the new equipment and to learn additional rescue techniques such as rope rescue, confined spaces, and grain bin rescue.

In order to assist with enhancing the department’s operations, response capabilities, training and community support, Purina will donate more than $237,000 to Williamsburg Township Emergency Services.

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